Protest Generates Discussion - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/20/05 - Nacogdoches

Protest Generates Discussion

Martin Saucedo (Right) Legal Immigrant Martin Saucedo (Right) Legal Immigrant

by Donna McCollum

Student government elections are usually as controversial as SFA ever gets until the 'Young Conservatives' voice their viewpoints.

Chairman Elliott Griffin helped stage the 24 hour protest. "The debated issue is over illegal immigration and how it costs our government dollars everyday. And this is our 24th hour figure, 101 million dollars."

The protest barely started when opposing viewpoints, mostly from Hispanics were voiced. Martin Saucedo said, "It doesn't show how much money that is contributed by illegal immigrants, so it is just one set of the issue. That is very bias which comes to me as racist or prejudiced."

Then the onlookers stepped in. Hilary Hodges said, "I'm a conservative. I really am. I'm a Republican, but I'm ashamed how they've conducted themselves with this."

Some students were upset over the "I'm here legally' t-shirts that the Young Conservatives wore. Others were upset that the group failed to recognize the sacrifices many Hispanics made to become legal. "They have no idea what that is about. They have no idea to be 8 years old and not be with your mom for 5 years," shared Saucedo.

But the conservatives contend, "The law is the law." Adam Key argued, "As much good as you can do if you start out by doing something wrong then you're not doing any good at all." Saucedo answered, "You're doing this wrong. This is not a place to be. If you really want to change things you need to be in the capitol or talk to your representative."

But taking an issue elsewhere doesn't always create dialogue between groups that may not otherwise speak to one another. Griffin said, "It's been good because it got people motivated. I feel like our campus doesn't do anything until the Young Conservatives do something and then they come out with their opinions and if anything we're a motivator."

Enough motivation was generated that the groups opponents were the last to leave the protest area. The 24-hour protest is over, but discussion over immigration issues may continue. Word is both groups are planning a formal debate on the topic.

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